Medalta Potteries Plant
Medicine Hat Stoneware/Pottery Ltd.
Medalta Stoneware Ltd.
Links and documents
1912/01/01 to 1950/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Medalta Potteries is an industrial complex dating from 1912 located on an 89.65 hectare lot in south east Medicine Hat. It consists of four circular brick beehive kilns and five rectangular brick and wood warehouses with gable roofs.
The Medalta Potteries site derives it heritage value from its association with the emergence of Medicine Hat between 1912 and 1960 as a Canadian centre for clay products and pottery based on the availability of cheap fuel in the form of natural gas and local deposits of suitable clay. The first pottery operation was established in 1912 by the Medicine Hat Pottery Company. Its demise in 1914 provided an opportunity for Medicine Hat entrepreneurs Charles Pratt, Ulysses Sherman Grant, and William Creer to acquire its assets and build what would become the dominant company in the industry. They acquired its assets in the name of Medalta Stoneware Company in December 1915 and began the manufacture of a line of household items such as crooks, jugs and churns. The name of the company was changed to Medalta Potteries in 1924. From 1922 to the 1950s the Company continued to expand its dominant position in the industry through innovative products and manufacturing efficiencies. Between 1928 and 1950 Medalta accounted on average for 67percent of Canadian pottery production. One example of its innovative approach to the development of new product lines was the introduction of artwares in 1927. This product line involved the use of colorful glazes on cut flower vases, bulb bowls and other decorative items to appeal to changing popular tastes. Medalta Potteries survived until 1958 when it went into bankruptcy. Attempts to keep the facility in operation continued through to 1966 when it was closed for the last time.
Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 190)
The character-defining elements of the Medalta Potteries site include the following:
Kilns 1, 2, 3 and 4:
- form, scale and massing;
- brick masonry detailing of walls, roof and chimneys;
- heavy iron banding on kilns and chimneys;
- loading openings;
- metal chimney caps and hardware;
- gas and coal burning ports;
- venting ports on domes;
- corrugated metal shed structure attached to Kiln 4.
Buildings 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13
- form, scale, relationship and massing of Buildings 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13;
- masonry walls and bond detailing on Buildings 10, 11, 12 and 13;
- windows and door openings and surround detailing;
- window construction and fenestration detailing;
- door construction and detailing;
- roof detailing and finishes (cedar shingle corrugated metal asphalt rolled roofing);
- interior wood and steel truss systems with their open ceiling design;
- industrial machinery and associated fittings, such as belts and pulleys, electrical and steam lines, boiler and stake, mixing vats, clay bins, plunger and hoppers, as found in Buildings 9, 10 and 11;
- floor plan layouts with associated partitions and work areas.
- building footprint and remains of Building 7;
- tracks along south elevation of Buildings 10, 11, 12 and 13
- shard piles east of Buildings 9, 10, and 11;
- orientation of buildings on site.
Province of Alberta
Historical Resources Act
Provincial Historic Resource
1912/01/01 to 1960/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Extraction and Production
Function - Category and Type
- Crafts Production Facility
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 190)
Cross-Reference to Collection